Source: What to Do When Bored
And you thought you were having a rough day.
Imagine working in the 1800's, in a time when daily prayers were mandatory and there was no talking allowed during business hours.
Fortunately, workplace conditions have improved substantially and we're all afforded much greater leniency than the people who lived and worked 127 years ago had.
1. Godliness, cleanliness and punctuality are the necessities of a good business.
While there's nothing wrong with cleanliness and punctuality, a lot of people today would have problems with 'godliness' being a business requirement. Religion was much more popular and ordinary 127 years ago.
2. The firm has reduced the hours of work, and the clerical staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Phew. Workdays are now only 11 hours long. Wait... how long were the clerical staff required to be present before this rule was put into place?
3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the main office. The clerical staff will be present.
This one would easily be in violation of Charter rights today, pretty much regardless of whatever country you live in. Good thing it would now be illegal to enforce this rule.
4. Clothing must be of a sober nature. The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colours, nor will they wear hose, unless in good repair. Overshoes and topcoats may not be worn in the office, but neck scarves and headwear may be worn in inclement weather.
While dress codes still exist in most workplaces, it would be rare to find any codes this specific by today's standards. What would happen if the good people of 1878 were shown the black and blue (or gold and silver) dress? Would it be allowed?
5. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff. Coal and wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff bring four pounds of coal each day during cold weather.
Keep in mind that the clerical staff probably had to carry all that coal each day as they walked to work through the bitter cold. We shouldn't take cars and heating systems for granted, that's for sure.
6. No member of the clerical staff may leave the room without permission from Mr. Rogers. The calls of nature are permitted and clerical staff may use the garden below the second gate. This area must be kept in good order.
At least bathroom breaks were okay, but to use the garden? At least management probably didn't have to worry about buying new fertilizer. This rule must have been extremely unpleasant on the days when each member of the clerical staff had to bring in four pounds of coal.
7. No talking is allowed during business hours.
Sounds like things really were all work and no play. This rule alone would be enough to drive most people insane in today's workplace.
8. The craving of tobacco, wines or spirits is a human weakness, and, as such, is forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.
Just during work hours, right? It seems like smoke breaks weren't a thing back then either.
9. The owners recognize the new Labour Laws, but will expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these near Utopian conditions.
Mr. Rogers and the other managers would probably have a heart attack if they saw the working conditions and standards of today. Contrary, most of us would have a difficult time adjusting to the Utopian conditions of 127 years ago.
If these rules for staff in 1878 tell us anything, it's that maybe we don't have it so bad today after all. Does your workplace enforce any insane rules?